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The Customer Is Always Right. Right?

At Georgia Powder Coating our business model is built around service. It’s how we differentiate ourselves from the competition. We like to say we are the Ritz-Carlton of power coating. It’s one of the reasons we were selected two years in a row as one of the best companies in North America according to Products Finishing Magazine. That said, sometimes great service requires more than saying, “my pleasure” after a thank you. What about when great service and unruliness collide, and is the customer always right? Recently we had a client that was very difficult to please – actually I don’t think they have ever been pleased with anything. After reworks, refunds, apologies, and trying to educate the client on realistic expectations, myself and my team were continuing to be verbally abused and even cussed. I struggled with how much abuse my team should be subject to. When should I draw the line? Where would addressing the client’s behavior be considered rude and not ‘service like’?